Mushroom Log

1/1  Less than 3 months till spring!

3/14  The temperature at night are starting to be consistently above freezing.  Most of the snow has melted.  Jordan Pond is losing the ice.  Robins are back on the lawns, looking for worms.  We have had 2.7" of rain in the past 24 hours.  In a few days it will be worthwhile going into the woods and seeing what fungi are coming up.  It is time to look for Oyster Mushrooms.

3/18 After all that rain we have temperatures near 70 degrees.  It was time to check southern facing slopes for the first fungi.  I went to a site in Westboro.  Found no fungi but the large American Elm was in bloom.

3/19  Another day in the low 70's.  Went to another site in Westboro.  Again found no fungi but found 2 different lichen and another blooming American Elm.  See pictures.

3/24 We had 2.3" of rain, 7.69" so far this month.  This should trigger some fungi to fruit.  The Morel progress to the north is now in Kentucky.  Later in the day I went to the site in Northborough that has a lot of wet land.  It was semi flooded after all that rain.  I was looking for a Scarlet Cup.  I found the first living mushroom of the season an Orange Jelly on several dead White Pine.  According to Lincoff's guide it is not due till May 1 or later.  So it looks like we are going to have an early start to the mushroom season.  Pictures

3/25  Went back to Westboro site where I have found cup fungi in the past.  Still looking for the Scarlet Cup.  I noticed something at the base of a large oak stump, near the site.  Turned out to be 3, last years, Lingzhi.  Also found a slime mold from last year that grew on a dead oak.  Pictures

3/27  Yesterday it got barely above freezing.  Today there was a low of 17, at sunrise.  A bit of a setback to the mushroom season.  Temperatures in the 60's not expected until April 1.

3/31  3 plus days of rain for a total of 4.5" by my rain gauge.  Town rain gauge reported a total of 12.2" for the month.

4/1  On the Talbot Trail in Northborough I found more Orange Jelly and Witches' Butter.  Pictures

4/4  It has been in the 70's the last 3 days.  I went out every day.  Found no new mushrooms.  The closest I got is that I found nice patches of British Soldier Lichens coming up.

4/5  Went to Grafton into an area which is always wet and usually has some kind of mushroom.  I would have even been glad to find some small brown mushroom.  I had my eyes set to spot anything scarlet, as in Scarlet Cup.  I only found some British Soldier Lichen growing on a stump.  About 99% of the deciduous trees are still bare even though the temperatures have been in the 70's this past week.  I read that the mushrooms are holding back in other parts of the country also.  Picture

4/10  Finally some rain.  Got .4" according to my gauge.  Maybe tomorrow.

4/20  After 3 days of light rain (.5") I went to the Berkshires.  I explored Gould Meadow.  Found Bloodroot, Purple Trillium and Trout Lily flowers but no new mushrooms.  I then explored the Housatonic and Green Rivers.  Found only one public entry way.  Did not see any Elm or mushrooms.

5/2  First foray by BMS along the Appalachian Trail in Sheffield.  I went early and Checked Kennedy Park and Gould Meadow first.  Finally found a living mushroom, a Dryad's Saddle, at Gould Meadow.  On the foray members found only Early Spring Entoloma.  It was a hot and muggy day and I had a hard time keeping up with the younger people, so I did not.  I got more exercise than I bargained for this day :o)

6/7  Finally some rains came, in the form of thunder showers.  On the lawn, of the apartment building where I live, a dozen or so of Yellow Blusher (Amanita flavorubescens) popped out.  Also found a few rosy colored Russula.  Next I went to a spot in Northbridge where early summer King Bolete grow.  Nothing.  Next I went to a spot in Grafton where early Bolete pop out.  All I found was 3 Platterful Mushroom (Tricholomopsis platyphyla).  Where are the LBMs when you could use them?  In this lull I upgraded one of my computers and took up oil painting.  Have done a lot of reading also.

6/17  This past week I decided to learn a little more about LBMs.  Last Sunday I went into the Coolidge athletic field after a good soaking thunderstorm went through.  There were quite a few little brown mushrooms growing in the grass.  I picked several for a spore print but did not take pictures.  The grass was wet and I did not want to get down on that wet grass.  I got a good brown spore print and was able to photograph the spores and measure their size.  I am pretty sure they were the Lawn Mower's Mushrooms, aka Panaeolus foenisecii,  even though this is my first time with this mushroom.  I went back the next day to take a few pictures of them as they were growing but the grass mower beat me to them.  Today I went back and got some pictures.  They look quite different after the rains washed out some of the brown color.  I put these out for a spore print to confirm that these are the same mushroom I found last Sunday.  These are supposed to be edible though some sources claim they are hallucinogenic.  The amount of psilocybin is so small you would have to eat a bushel of them to get high.  The dope experts on the Shroomery web site do not use it.  They are so small that I feel that is not worth trying them.  Pictures.

6/25  One advantage of this slow mushroom time is that I can spend more time identifying the few mushrooms I find.  Today I went to a site in Northborough.  I found an orange colored small mushroom that had a waxy feeling to the touch.  I found this mushroom at this site in previous years.  Paying more attention to the characteristics and checking them against the Scarlet Waxy Cap, as described in Mushrooms of Northeastern North America, I have come to conclusion that I have been finding this mushrooms in different stages of growth.  I think that it is the tag "Scarlet" that caused all the confusion.  It appears that the scarlet color appears early in the growth and then the rain and sun bleach this color so that it looks orange-yellow.  Pictures.  
On this page is shown a young specimen that truly has a "scarlet" color.   I updated these pages with the proper ID:

6/26  Today I decided to take a picture of one of many Yellow Blusher that grow in the yard.  Most of them are now dried out.  The thunder storms are missing us.  I checked out the yard and found a Berkeley's Polypore growing against a rotten oak stump.  I decided to water it since the ground is so dry.  I actually watered the inside of the stump but some water leaked out though the cracks.  Later I went for a ride to Paxton and Rutland.  There is no indication that it rained there lately.  I did spot a Dog Vomit Slime growing on a snag as I was driving by.  Pictures.

7/20  The draught continues in my area.  The last thunderstorms stayed to the South.  Looks like the Cape got a good downpour but it is to far to travel just to check if mushrooms will pop out there.  I am learning about the Canon 450D.  Learning about the RAW format and editing pictures with Digital Photo Professional that came with the camera.

8/28  This past week we have had three straight days of rain.  I believe it was the largest single rainfall in my area all summer.  I went to Grafton after not finding any mushrooms around the apartment.  This place in Grafton is usually a very good place to find Bolete.  I only found one Bolete and that one was small and with a damaged stem.  The cap color was faded from the sun but it looked like a small Xanthoconium.  I checked a yellow birch that had a Chaga growing growing on it a few years until someone took it.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a new Chaga growing on the same spot on the tree.  It is now almost as large as the original one.  The most pleasant surprise was finding my first, ever, Eastern Cauliflower Mushroom!  It was about 6" in diameter.  According to Lincoff it is usually found in a wet year.  This is extra good luck since it is the driest summer I remember.  Pictures.

9/18    I have moved to Whitinsville so I wanted to check my King Bolete spot as the first foray from new home.  We had about 3/10" of rain a few nights back.  The first mushroom I saw was a Dotted Stalk Suillus.  I found a few other species of mushroom including one that baffles me.  Take a look at the 4 page picture story.

9/20  Went back to the same place to get more information on the unknown Lactarius and to see what the slime mold looks like two days later.  Pictures

9/29  Last couple of days we have got some rain and there was a few hours of sunshine.  Went back to the local spot to check it.  Pictures

10/2  We have had 2.4" of rain in the past week according to my gauge.  First sunny day in about a week.  Went to pick the A. muscaria for my taste test and see what else I could find.  I met a man walking his two tiny white dogs and he told me about the the Mushroom Hunt that the Trustees of the Reservations and BMC are putting on at Cormier Woods this coming Saturday 10/9.  It is free.  Here is a link to the trail map and address:

I checked a small portion of the trail across the road from the parking lot and found a small Maitake.  It was a bit dirty from all that rain so I did not include a picture.  Here are the pictures from the Whitinsville walk.

10/3  The first time I tasted the A. muscaria I found it a bit salty.  I got overly cautious about getting all the toxins out and added too much salt.  Even so the first small cap (button) I tried tasted Good.  I then put the rest of the cooked muscaria in a glass and filled it with cold water.  I let it stand in the refrigerator overnight.  Next morning I drained them and the salty taste was gone.  I ate a few more small pieces and now I would rate the taste as Choice!  Muscaria appears to grow just about everywhere and is relatively common around here.  It will be good to have a Choice edible available throughout the season.

Today I went to Westboro where I have an oak that produces Maitake every year.  The place looked dry!  Even the swampy area was mostly dried out.  Found only one half dead Russula.  I spotted a large dead mushroom 10 feet up a live oak.  It was dried out and turned black.  Picture.

After I got home I noticed some small white mushrooms growing in the lawn grass.  Will check them out tomorrow.

10/4  Today I explored the lawn outside my door.  Found what I think might be the Fairy Ring Mushrooms and some common puffballs.  We got 0.3" of rain last night here in Whitinsville.  Everything was wet including the mushrooms.  Pictures

10/5  Day 4 after eating my first A. muscaria and everything is well.  I went out yesterday afternoon to my regular spot to see what I could find.  All of a sudden it is no longer hot and humid.  Temperature in the high 50's.  Jacket weather.  The first mushroom found was the Pear Shaped Puffball.  Revisited the mushroom growing on the stump to see how it is developing.  Found only one large A. muscaria button so not worth cooking up.  Then I found two mushrooms which I could not identify, yet.  Pictures

10/6  Another night and day of rain.  It is now 5:30 PM and the rain gage shows 2 more inches of rain in the past two days.  This should make the mushrooms happy.  Will check the woods tomorrow if the rain stops as promised.  I finally got around to updating my edibles list.  Taste changes with time.  Take a look at the list here.

10/7  Went to my regular Northbridge site.  No Kings.  I think they left for warmer climes.  I did find some interesting mushrooms.  First time I ever saw a Shaggy Parasol and it did not even open yet.  Pictures - 4 pages

10/9  Before going to the Mushroom Hunt at Cormier Woods I stopped by my spot in Northbridge and picked up some of the mushrooms that I found there.  Also I brought a few Ferry Ring Mushrooms and puffballs from home.  It appears that BMC representative Dough Brown was replaced by David Hibbett, the head of Clark University Mycology department, as the Hunt leader.  He brought quiet a few people from his lab.  There were a few people from the Harvard Mycology lab too.  With these academic types the hunt was tilted toward hunting mushrooms which would be of interest to the Mycologists.  I was able to talk to Alfredo Justo, one of the people from Clark, and I learned a few things from him.  He confirmed that it was the Fairy Ring Mushroom that I brought in.  He showed me what the Lincoff guide means by a "rubbery" stalk.  He twisted the stalk half a dozen times and then let go, and it sprang back to the original form.  He also pointed me to a more specific tag for one of the Corts that I found on the 7th.  So I updated the page.  The most interesting mushroom found, in my opinion, was a couple of Cauliflower Mushrooms.  Very few Bolete were found.  There were about 50 people there.  A well attended hunt.

10/15  Last night we had about an inch of rain.  I have been out 3 times to Douglas State Forest in the past week.  Most of the mushrooms I found were dried out but I found a couple that are interesting.  This morning I saw a few LBMs coming up where the water drips from the roof.

10/16  Went to the Northbridge site again.  Found a couple of different Lactarius and what looks like the Collybia on which the Collybia Jelly grows on.  Pictures

10/18  Went to Douglas State Forest and checked on the Brick Tops.  No new mushrooms came up after the rain.  Went to another site where there is a nice White Pine grove.  Found a dozen or so Red Gilled Corts growing under a pine.  Pictures

10/26  Dry again.  There are quite a few Suillus in the woods still.  Today I found 5 Kings under pine in Northbridge.  Most were past prime and cracked from the dry weather.  Picture

10/27  This is the second day where the temperatures got up into the 70's.  There has been a bit of of drizzle of rain the last two days.  Went and checked more pine areas but found only the Slippery Jack type and 5 Fly Amanita.  The Amanita were past prime so I did not pick them for a meal.

10/29  Still no appreciable rain and the  temperatures in the 50's.  Went to my Northbridge site and found two Scaber Stalk though they were a bit old.  Did not bother trying to identify the species.  Pictures

11/5  Has been raining for the last two days.  We got 1.4" of rain so far.  The weather is cold.

11/12  Warmed up into the 60's today.  Went to the Northbridge site.  Surprised to find quite a variety of mushrooms.  Pictures

11/17  Rain in the last 24 hours amounted to 1.4" in my area.

11/18 Went to Northbridge site to check for mushrooms.  A pleasant surprise in that new mushrooms have popped up.  There are 5 mushrooms to identify.  One might be the Platterful Mushroom.  Another is a Yellow-centered Waxy Cap.  I have them out for spore prints.

A few days ago I was at the Douglas State Forest site and found this Yellow-centered Waxy Cap but then the stem broke cleanly and I thought that it was a Russula of some kind.  That time I was not able to get a spore print.  I think it was a bit old and that is why the stem snapped off clean.  This time I hope to get a good spore print.  The unusual thing about this mushroom is that it is covered by a thick layer of transparent gel.  It has a very slimy feel to it.  In the young specimens even the gills are covered with this gel.  Pictures.  Still waiting for spore prints.

11/19  Went to get more specimens of Yellow-centered Waxy Cap at the Northbridge site.  Wanted to check for yellow on the base of the stalk.  Found about a dozen.  All had pure white stalks. Found an unusual, single mushroom growing on a fallen dead oak branch.  The unusual thing about this mushroom is that the gills branch several times.  Pictures

11/20  Went to a pine grove at the Douglas State Forest to see if I could find Yellow-centered Waxy Cap that has released spores and again check for yellow color at the base of the stem.  Both were missing in the specimens I found.  Pictures

12/2  We have had 3/4" of rain in the past 24 hours.  I checked the pine grove in Northbridge and found a few live mushrooms even though the temperature was only in the low 40's.  Pictures

12/5  Last night the temperatures dropped to 25.  The temperatures are expected to stay below freezing, at night, for the next week.  This should freeze the ground and stop all mushrooms from coming up.  So I declare that the mushroom season over for the year for me.  Overall this has been the poorest mushroom season in 8 years.  The spring was very wet but cold.  The summer was very hot and dry.  The fall was cold and dry.  Next year has to be better.

12/20  I have taken up the big job of updating all my pages on this site.  Some sort of virus attack has caused some of the pictures to be rotated to the left  or right causing the object photographed to be distorted.  I plan to fix these and also update the identification and fix the typos.  If you find a page where things do not appear right please drop me a line and tell be about it.

12/25  I finished the update.  I am sure that I must have missed some of the pages.  If you notice any page where things do not appear right, please let me know.

Mushrooming Log 2009
Mushrooming Log 2008
Mushrooming Log 2007
Mushrooming Log 2006
Mushrooming Log 2005
Mushrooming Log 2004